The 74, 475 DWT MV Golden Seas carrying a cargo of rapeseed oil suffered a turbocharger failure on its main engine late Thursday night, reducing main engine power sufficiently so that the ship could not make headway against the 29 foot seas and 35 knot winds. The ship was drifting perilously close to the shore of the Aleutian Islands. The Coast Guard reported that with moderating weather conditions, the crew had regained control of the ship while roughly 24 miles from shore and was now steaming at about 3.5 knots.
Coast Guard cutters have been dispatched and a salvage tug, Tor Viking II, has been dispatched from Dutch harbor and is expected to arrive at the ship sometime Saturday night. In the mean times, the weather is predicted to worsen again. The ship’s cargo of 60,000 MT of rapeseed, used to make canola oil, is not considered to pose a serious environmental hazard but the ship is also carrying roughly 1,600 tons of fuel oil, 40 tons of diesel fuel and 35 tons of lube oil.